Our Designers

Designer nannten sich mal Gestalter und später Formgestalter.

Da wirkliche schöne Dinge nicht zufällig entstehen und oft Hersteller und Designer Außerordentliches leisten, erzählt Formost von den Menschen hinter den Produkten. Der Designer, der ein kurzfristiges Modeupdate zur besseren Verkäuflichkeit als seine Kernkompetenz empfindet, kommt bei Formost dafür  nicht vor.

Wolfgang Dyroff

Wolfgang Dyroff
Wolfgang Dyroff ist zu den bedeutsamen ostdeutschen Industriedesigner zu zählen. Viele seiner Entwürfe fanden sich in Haushalten, Gerätschaften und Fahrzeugen wieder.
»Mich hat stets umgetrieben, was der amerikanische Designpionier Raymond Loewy einmal sinngemäß so ausgedrückt hat: Einen Traktor zu gestalten, ist kein so großes Problem. Aber eine Nähnadel besser zu machen!«   ( zit. n. Höhne 2001 )

In der Nachkriegszeit war Wolfgang Dyroff in der Arbeitsgemeinschaft von Horst Michel beim Aufbau der Hochschule in Weimar tätig. (1946-1951)
Anschließend begann er das Studium in der Klasse für Industrielle Formgebung bei Horst Michel an der Hochschule für Baukunst und Bildende Künste in Weimar und wurde nach dem Studium  wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter.

Wolfgang Dyroff entwarf zahlreiche Möbelbeschläge und Türdrücker für die Produktion in der DDR. Besonders herausragend ist ein Türdrücker in geschwungener Form, den Dyroff 1956 speziell für ein Labor entwickelt hat, um so das Öffnen der Tür mit dem Unterarm zu ermöglichen. Noch am Institut für Innengestaltung begann Dyroff die Zusammenarbeit mit der Automobilindustrie. Für den »Wartburg« entwarf er ein Armaturenbrett und für den »Trabant P 50« den Autotürgriff. Ab 1959 zog es Wolfgang Dyroff nach Berlin, dort war er an zahlreichen Instituten künstlerischer Mitarbeiter.

In seiner Berliner Zeit arbeitete er erfolgreich als Designer. Es entstanden Leuchten aus Metall sowie die Schalterserie »System 80« für Lichtschalter und Steckdosen. Das »System 80« wurde in den 1960er Jahren in Wohnungsbauten tausendfach montiert. 

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Architecture Firm Designs Batcave-Inspired Carpark, Complete with Hidden Entrance, Under This Stately Manse

Don't you hate it when your car collection outgrows the parking available at your 1930s-designed Georgian mansion? That was the problem faced by an unnamed homeowner in Melbourne, who contracted local architecture firm Molecule to solve the problem. One of the requirements was that the home's "heritage quality and evident beauty" be respected (i.e., no Modernist Ferris Bueller garage next door, please.)

Here's how Molecule attacked the problem:

Accommodating a collection of cars was a central challenge. The house in its existing state was beautifully sited and scaled on its grounds; we felt that any increase in visual bulk would injure this balance and a commitment was made to treat the garaging as a 'shadow', concealing it in basement format below the existing tennis court and gardens.

Excavating was no problem—it's only money, folks—but there was also the issue of how to provide ingress and egress for the Benzies and their friendsies. The solution was to create a hidden entrance on the tennis courts:

Note that the lid for the hydraulic lamp starts on the baseline portion of the court; I assume they kept natural turf on the court proper to avoiding messing with an in-play ball's bounce.

As for the garage's interior, Molecule took some cues from a certain vigilante:

The secrecy of the underground world introduced notions of an architectural alter-ego, an alternative character that could offer the project its modern-day relevance. The indelible image of Bruce Wayne's garage in The Dark Knight became a totem of the design approach, sponsoring the Batman-inspired naming of the project as the Wayne Residence.

Here's a still from the movie they used for inspiration:

And here's what they came up with for the actual residence:

Bad-ass, no? Those banks of lights, by the way, can be isolated over the individual cars, while LED strips in the floor give it that added light bling:

All that's missing is the floor turntable, but by the looks of it, the owner doesn't need it; look how perfectly dead-center within the boundaries those cars are parked!

Via Open Journal

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Designing a Solution to Stop Drunks from Falling Off of Subway Platforms

If you were asked to design a preventative solution to people falling onto subway tracks, where would you start? I imagine most folks would focus on the platform's edge, perhaps adding safety rails that aligned with the non-doored portions of incoming trains, or maybe glass walls with secondary doors like some airports have for their shuttle trains. A recent study in Japan, however, has the West Japan Railway Company focusing on the center of the platform, not the edge.

First, a closer look at the problem: The two-year study was commissioned because there is a troubling rise in drunk people falling off of subway platforms—more than 200 incidents in 2013, about twice the amount as happened ten years earlier. Thus JR West dug up all of the security camera footage to watch the few seconds before each fall, to see how they happened. According to Spoon & Tamago, which translated the study:

Ninety percent of falls are the result of people, in a drunken stupor, getting up from a bench they were sitting on and walking straight off the platform.
The results are surprising because conventional reasoning and logic assumed that drunks would wander closer and closer to the ledge and eventually fall off. The data, however, showed the opposite. Only ten percent of drunks gradually drifted towards the ledge, while an outstanding majority briskly walked off the ledge as if they knew exactly where they were going.

That being the case, the proposed fix focuses on the center of the platform where the waiting benches are. JR West is experimenting with rotating the benches 90 degrees, making them perpendicular to the tracks rather than parallel; the thinking goes that a drunk lurching to his feet and walking straight forward, as is apparently their wont, will have to eventually stop and coordinate a turn to make his way towards the tracks.

Some of you are undoubtedly thinking: Ought we really be designing a solution to save 200-something drunks a year? After Gizmodo picked up the story, one commenter pithily wrote "I do not approve of this at all" and signed it "Darwin." But whether you sympathize for the boozers or not, there is an economic cost to each incident and the ripple effect of delayed trains (and possibly a gory clean-up). If this works, paying a handful of maintenance workers to rotate benches will seem a bargain.

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Designers & Books Bringing Back "Perfect Reprint" of Iconic Graphic Design Book

The folks over at Designers & Books got their hands on a rare, largely unsung design classic: Ladislav Sutnar's Visual Design in Action, "one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking books on modern communications and graphic design." There's only one problem, and that's that the book has been out of print for over 40 years. So D&B, following their mission, are trying to bring the book back.

The goal of the Kickstarter is to fund production of a perfect replica, including the exceptional printing and production values, of the original book, which uses varied papers to enhance color and differentiate context. Sutnar's own standards were so exacting that when in 1961 he could find no publisher willing to pay the high printing and production costs associated with his design, Sutnar paid Hastings House out of his own pocket to print it.

"Ladislav Sutnar is the most under-appreciated giant in design," says backer Stefan Sagmeister. "Putting Visual Design in Action back into print will make that right."

"Sutnar developed graphic systems that clarified vast amounts of complex information, transforming business data into digestible units," writes Steven Heller, who's been tapped to edit the book and add a new essay about Sutnar.

Interesting tidbit: Sutnar was actually an industrial designer in his native Czechoslovakia, but after fleeing when the Nazis took power in 1939, he reinvented himself as a graphic designer in America.

Also: He's the guy who invented putting parentheses around area codes in phone numbers! Had he lived long enough, he'd probably have come up with the @ and # before their eventual inventors did.

"As impersonal as the area-code design might appear, the parentheses were actually among Sutnar's signature devices, one of many he used to distinguish and highlight information," Heller writes. "Sutnar developed various typographic and iconographic navigational devices that allowed users to efficiently traverse seas of data. His icons are analogous to the friendly computer symbols used today."

Thankfully, the Kickstarter's virtually a sure thing: At press time they were at $73,000 of a $79,000 goal, with a full month left to pledge. At this point the $55 Early Bird Specials are all gone, but there are still some $62 copies left.

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Video Demonstrates How to Easily, Selectively Kill People with Tiny "Slaughterbots"

The problem with a nuclear bomb is that it wipes out everything within its blast radius, then renders the land uninhabitable with radiation. Mass murdered Stephen Paddock sprayed a crowd with automatic fire, indiscriminately killing whomever he could get. But what if there was a way to quickly, easily, surgically kill just certain groups of people within a larger crowd?

Let's say, for instance, that you wanted to murder just a portion of a college classroom--only the students that hold certain political views. Well, here's how you can do that using existing technology:

The implications are terrifying; there is no hiding from these things. They can work together to breach a building. They make everything from nuclear weapons to highly trained snipers obsolete. There doesn't seem to be any effective way to defend against them.

Which is precisely the point being made by Stuart Russell, a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at UC Berkely. Russell, an AI expert, produced this video with the Future of Life Institute, a volunteer think-tank that tries to figure out how to keep humanity from wiping ourselves off of the planet.

The video was screened at the United Nations' Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva, Switzerland last week, and the hope was that this would wake international lawmakers up to the dangers of automated weaponry. Sadly, the warning appears to be falling on deaf ears. According to the Guardian, Amandeep Gill, India's Disarmament Ambassador, "underscored that banning killer robots, or even agreement on rules, remained a distant prospect."

"Countries do not have time … to waste just talking about this subject," Mary Wareham of the arms division at Human Rights Watch told AFP.
She said that "militaries around the world and defence companies are sinking a lot of money" into weapons that select and destroy targets without human control.

Once this gets out, it's out.

It's scary to think that we'll look back nostalgically at a time when terrorists rented vehicles to simply run people over, a few at a time.

"If this isn't what you want," says the video description, "please take action at http://autonomousweapons.org/."

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We believe that a truly good product is inherently beautiful and useful. This kind of beauty does not happen by accident though! At Formost we do not only find good products for you but we test them and tell the stories of the people behind these products. This way you experience a story while receiving something which shall last for generations and accumulate some nice stories itself.

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